May 4, 2006 |
Napster presents: free music. No, I'm not stuck back at the turn of the century, when Napster was launched and it became notorious for allowing the world to illegally share music online. That version of the company was shut down in 2002 under the weight of music industry lawsuits. This week, the revived Napster -- now a fee-based music subscription service -- started to act like it's 1999, allowing nonmembers to access songs in its 2-million-track catalog for free.
March 22, 2006 |
Magazine publisher Time Inc. has reached a settlement with California and 22 other states after a probe of its subscription renewal practices. Under the agreement announced Tuesday, Time Inc., owned by media conglomerate Time Warner Inc., will pay $4.5 million for the states' costs for investigation and establish a fund for consumers' restitution. The Pennsylvania and California attorneys general said Time Inc.'s payout would amount to $4.3 million if all affected consumers responded. Time Inc.
February 9, 2006 |
Napster Inc., the name that launched the digital music revolution, is burning through cash and struggling to find an audience as a viable subscription service. The company reported a loss of $17 million for its fiscal third quarter -- a smaller deficit than Wall Street had expected. Revenue soared 94% to $23.5 million. A year earlier, the company had a profit of $12.8 million, reflecting earnings from discontinued operations. Napster shares, up 3 cents to $3.61 in regular trading, rose to $3.
February 5, 2006 |
Vongo. A new dance craze? No, it's a new subscription service offering feature films via the Internet. Launched last month by Starz Entertainment Group, which primarily runs cable-TV movie channels, the $9.99-a-month service is an all-you-can-eat arrangement that allows subscribers to view about 850 movies as many times as wanted. That is, until the subscription expires or the film rotates out of Vongo circulation.
November 11, 2005 |
San Jose-based EBay Inc. started a subscription research service to help shoppers get pricing and bidding information. The service costs $2.99 to $24.99 and offers real-time data on starting prices and average bids, top searches by customers and shipping charges, EBay said. The information goes back 60 to 90 days and includes international market data. EBay Marketplace Research will compete with similar search engines from America Online and retailers that allow consumers to compare prices.
October 25, 2005 |
IMesh, one of the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing services, plans to roll out software today that permits users to legally share and buy popular music online from the four major music conglomerates The service has access to more than 15 million music files on the Gnutella networks and will cost $6.95 a month, plus 99 cents each for most hit songs and major-label releases.
October 22, 2005 |
Yahoo Inc. said it would raise the price for its Music Unlimited subscription service by 72% for users who transfer songs to portable music players. The monthly subscription price will rise on Nov. 1 to $11.99 a month from $6.99 a month. The increase brings the cost closer to the $14.99-a-month prices of offerings from RealNetworks Inc. and Napster Inc.
August 24, 2005 |
Blockbuster Inc. will raise the price for subscription services at some stores next month as it looks for ways to make up for revenue lost when it ended late fees. The price for unlimited checkout of two movies at a time under Blockbuster's "Movie Pass" program is being raised $3 to $27.99 a month in a "small" number of stores, Blockbuster spokesman Randy Hargrove said. On Aug. 9 Blockbuster reported that abolishing late fees reduced revenue by $138.
July 31, 2005 |
Music subscription services have been called the all-you-can-eat buffets of the online music world. That's because, unlike the a la carte option of paying by the downloaded song, subscriptions offer a huge variety of tracks for a set monthly fee. And as any veteran Las Vegas-goer can tell you, buffets have evolved from tawdry to lavish. So too music subscription services. Only a few years ago they were the backwater of online music, with highly limited selections and buggy technology.
March 27, 2005 |
Aisle 25, first row, seats 1, 2, 3, 4. Numbers to anyone else, but a life's work for Irving Zeiger, who has had the best seats in the house for as long as there has been a house. Zeiger mailed his initial deposit for Dodger season tickets while the team was still in Brooklyn, reportedly the first check Walter O'Malley received. When O'Malley built Dodger Stadium, he rewarded Zeiger by renting him the cornerstone. His seats were in the first row directly above the Dodger dugout.